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The shameful act of OPDO (By Yilma Bekele)

I came across a clip of a VOA interview from Ethiopia. It is about the unveiling of a new statue in Oromia Kilil (Bantustan), Arsi Zone, Hitosa Wereda named Anole Statue and Museum. From the video that came with the report the ugly contraption seems to be sitting in the middle of acacia forest and depicts a cut off human hand with a cut off what we are told to be depiction of a female breast resting on the palm stretched to the sky. I am assuming the Museum is there to explain the reason for the erection of such a strong and ugly visual in such a serene place.
New Picture (14)
The picture you see above is captured off the video and it shows the statue under construction. The Video makes it look to be in the middle of nowhere with no buildings or road nearby. I have no idea if the location has any significance to the story being told. The report does not tell us where the museum is located in proximity to the statue. Ato Eskinder Frew the VOA reporter promised to give us an in-depth interview soon.

Ato Eskinder talked to a few people to give us differing perspectives on this monument. I found the exchange very enlightening. Oromia Kilil (Bantustan) Culture and Tourism Bureau Head Ato Mohamed Jilo was interviewed to shed light on the meaning of this twenty million Bir project. This is what he said.

‘this is not to exact revenge the act was not done by a certain nationality the government of Oromia Kilil or the people of Oromia do not view it like that , the fight was with the system and it was that sacrifice paid fighting against the system that enabled us to have the democracy we have today. The revolution of Ginbot 1983 got rid of the ‘neftegna’ system. Some people claim this statue is built to exact revenge on the Amhara of the time but we say ‘Neftegna’ Minilik was born an Amhara but we are not condemning all Amhara to be Neftegna. Rather than exact revenge it (the statue) is to make sure such act does not take place again, it is to teach future generations.’

and when he was informed by the reporter that All Ethiopia party does not have a positive view on such a statue here is what he said.

‘we expect such opposition from them it is not only the statue they oppose but they are against Oromo self rule and use of our own language further more they claim our Federal system is based on ethnicity and they are against it so we are not surprised by their opposition to the statue anyway we still claim the atrocity (cutting women’s breast) is done by individuals not by a certain Nationality …. there were Oromos with Minilik such as Gobena Dache that savaged his people allied with Minilik it is also possible other nationalities were involved in this…..thus the individual that committed this could emerge from a nation like Minilik did but he also brutalized his own people …. .he did not lift his own people from poverty all of the people of Oromia are aware of that today his people (Amhara)are as poverty stricken as the Oromos .’

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What do you think? Has any other country faced such a problem? Can children of the same mother depict each other in such terms and continue to live together? Why would anybody do such harm to so many millions in the name of what and to what end?

The report states the permission to erect such a statue was approved by the Oromia (Bantustan) Kilil. Knowing how the current system works it is doubtful that the TPLF did not give tacit approval if not early inception of the idea itself. It is the stated mission of TPLF to create a wedge between the various people of Ethiopia. This incident is a TPLF victory. It is a hate message aimed at the Amhara and all of Ethiopia’s children. It is a sad day to be Amhara or Oromo. It is definitely a crazy and disturbed person that would come up with such diabolic idea. It is totally gullible and clueless individuals that would give life to such ugly thought.

With all due respect Ato Mohamed Jilo is parroting a rehearsed response void of reason, emotion and psychological impact on society as a whole. My question to him is was this act and its ramifications discussed before it was approved? Did someone ask the purpose of it all and demanded for a verifiable proof such things did happen as part of a policy? Did the OPDO thought out historians to get perspective, psychologists to see its impact both on the Oromo youth and their Amhara cousins and seek advice from elders of both groups to make sure there would be no lingering animosity?

I doubt all that was done. Ato Mohamed dismissed Ato Abebaw Mehari’s of All Ethiopia’s concern as irrelevant. That is a curious and callous response to the grave accusations of mass atrocity as vividly displayed by the Anole statue. No matter how much my friend Ato Mohamed tries to dance around the issue the finger is pointing at the same old Amhara as the perpetrator. His attempt to separate Minilik from the Amhara is definitely out of this world logic.

The issue here is more than history. It is about today. How could a party in charge resort to fanning the flames of hate and intolerance and solve the daily problems faced by our people? We are in the middle of a mass migration of our youth, there is talk of impending food shortage, the inflation is double digits, do the esteemed leaders of OPDO believe that putting up such an offensive statue that would injure many of their citizens a priority? How does one justify spending twenty million dollars to weave a fairy tale just to promote hate?

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Oromo’s conquered Amhara, Amhara’s conquered Tigrai and Oromo, today the Tigrai’s are in the process of digesting conquered Amhara, Oromo and the rest of Ethiopia we always seem to forget about. Should every Kilil go out on a statue building binge with Amharas recounting the Oromos Conquer of Gondar, with Tigrais reliving Amhara domination, Christians lamenting the expansion of Muslims and burning of Churches and Monasteries and so on. Where does this lead us to?

Isn’t forming brotherly love part of the requirements of living together in harmony? How could we live and form a lasting union if we accuse each other of ugly behavior from the past and not even based on verifiable fact nor true? How does this depiction affect the relationship between our people? How does viewing such ugly and offensive statue affect our children?

It is very sad to see people such as Ato Mohamed Jilo being used by those with ulterior motive to weaken the bond between our people. We do not see the TPLF warlords building a monument depicting their people as weak victims but heroic fighters that stood up to oppressors. They have built monuments that reach the sky showing them to be bigger than life. No Ethiopian objects to that. A positive depiction of one’s people is always appreciated as long as it is not done at the expense of one’s own family.

The practice of building a monument is prevalent in all human history. Every Nation’s capital is full of statues and memorials showing heroism and gallantry of past leaders and average people. The US has Lincoln Statue, MLK Memorial and library, the French built Arc de Triomphe, the Russians have Red Square as a focal point of their glorious past among many others I can mention. Anole Statue and Museum stands all by itself erected not to celebrate past achievements of our Oromo forefathers but present them in a negative and victimhood state which is far from the truth.

So my simple question to Ato Mohamed Jilo and the OPDO mini warlords is what exactly are you trying to accomplish when you spend twenty million Bir to build such a statue that shows the Oromo as victims? How does it help the people of Oromo that are starving as we speak and the children of Oromia that lack paper, pencil or a decent school? Do you think that money could have been better spent to train teachers, build a clinic or bring clean water to the villages instead of an offensive and demeaning statue in the middle of nowhere?

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Today thousands of our Oromo people are running from the hell created by TPLF as an architect and OPDO, ANDM, SEPDM and other opportunists as running dogs. There are thousands of Oromos in TPLF prisons, thousands are walking to all parts of Africa, thousands of our young girls are in servitude in the Middle East and the puppet OPDO true to its nature choose to build a monument to create hate between children of the same mother. Does that sound to be the responsible and grown up thing to do? Does that add a spoonful of nutrition to our starving and destitute people?

My dear OPDO the claim that your statue is a strange and bizarre sight is an understatement. To say that it is ugly and rude is not far from the truth. I do not know what it would look like when finished but the picture we see today is a crude idiot inspired and not to scale rendition of a hand and whatever is being held by it. It must have been created by a committee of men without the presence of a woman since a female with two nipples on one breast is not the norm and because no artist worth his salt would claim ownership of this work that cries for imagination and creativity if nothing else.

All Ethiopians should demand the statue be dismantled without further discussion. We believe it does not serve any useful purpose other than create mistrust, hate and poison the relationship between our peaceful people. We believe it is not possible to build a harmonious society based on hate and negativity. Our people have fought each other, loved each other and always managed to come together when it matters. We want to build on our positive side while working on our negative to make life better for our children. We reject all those that choose cultivating hate and negativity for fame and fortune. The Ethiopian people are tired of mad and unstable leaders and opportunist followers that cannot see beyond their nose. We only accept leaders that would emphasize our many good qualities and help us harvest the bounty that come out of common toil. Live free. Die free.



  1. Yilma Bekele;

    What did you say? Do you still believe that Oromos are to be mocked around by Amhara politicians? The arrogance of Amhara politicians has been boundless against the Oromo people. You are repeating the same thing. The statue is a memorial for those who were exterminated by Menelik’s army. They did not stop there. There are a bunch of historical facts if you care to read. We do not even try to convince you of that.

    “Prof.” Getachew Haile has told us ( the Oromos) our place in Ethiopian politics. We dop not belong where you want us to see. No one is fool at this stage. The Amhara’s kitchen sink politics has its own ending.

    • Do you think this is a solution to solve mountain of problems? You are mistaken. Look at predicted famine in the country, look at the unemployed college graduates, look at our young women who were abused by uncultured and barbaric Arabs, look at the systematic ethnic cleansing, look at the dislocation of our brothers and sisters from their humble homes and lands to hand it to foreigners and there cadres etc. What I am trying to to you is dwelling on hearsay and acting on it in such way will not benefit anyone in fact it will backfire such cases will be skinning and beheading of Amharas in Arbagugu Bedeno etc. One can not deny the greatness of Menilik. Not only He kept Ethiopia independent but also introduced railroad, telecommunications, (just to mention some) unlike the bandas
      who fought Ethiopians to please the enemy and were willing to be the colony of Italy. Tplf and cadres
      (T. Gebrabe the story teller and agent)did everything they can to discredit the king but it did not work because truth is on his side and the hidden and suppressed great memorable works of Menilik is recognized by the World.

  2. The statue of Menelik may be seen by the victor side as positive achievement, but there are millions who disagree with that assessment. So who are we to say only our side of stories should be told? After all this is not the first statue of atrocities committed by Ethiopian leaders, but why is this one so upsetting? Probably Menelik supporters have difficult time understanding their hero could be seen in a different light by other people. Even a bigger reason is that the system that was setup by him may be on its last leg and it is very hard for them to let go a system which has been so good to them and that is to be expected.

    Remember Mr. Jilo also made a comment about the motive of those people who are opposed to the statue. He said these are the same people who are opposed to Oromos even speaking their own God given language in their own country and run their own affairs.Why was this part of his comment conveniently forgotten? Does that mean this is true? Some may think there is some truth to his assertion.

  3. Obboo Bakala,
    I beg you to disagree in your notions of victims of King
    Menelik deserve no recognitions nor statues!
    It shocks me & most of Oromos who got first hand educations at
    homes in descretes for fears of reprisals from Genocidal regime that
    gutted the people of center a land the southerners.
    Gratitudes goes to our parents and grandparents who taught a us
    the hairy gruesome events that brought us into unholy
    Union that is taking lives to this day!!
    Anole is insignificant water shades on the levels of crimes
    committed against the Oromo people!
    EPRDF has my respects on allowing that forbidden
    Facts be spoken, written, manument be built on brutal past!
    I understand your & your types sleepless days
    for the true History is being recanted one after another!
    When was non Abysinian History ever allowed to be
    Written in that heathen empire beside combing fake
    Stories? Thanks to a few Europeans who accompanied your
    Hero-Menelik during his expansions into Oromo country we find written obeservations of fascistic onslaughts he and his Nefxi foot soldiers committed in
    writings. Your debteras call it The Holy war!
    There is no single holiness in an acts where
    Free people overrun by newly obtained guns & indiscriminately beligeoned down by millions! Hundreds of thousands of live cattles ransacked, women
    & children taken hostages to be sold as slaves.
    Any Ethiopian who deny these holloucusts ever never happened
    In that country is illiterate and should not
    Claim his/her knowledges of anything!
    Speaking writing acknowledging such horrific
    Past is the beginnings of healings for the victims.
    Let more memorial museums built throughputs.
    Remove Menelik’s manument off our Holiland

    • I got one question for you what is it’s practical implication of the statue at present? beside its historical fact? your biggest enemy is not minilik its OPDO/TPLF THINK “forward” statue is for the something positive.every where in the world.I did’t say we shouldn’t remember the victims but building of “severed women breast held with hand” only brings hatred revenge among people that had nothing to do with that

  4. Neftenya brain has no limit. Can u imagine a person who writes article about not building statue for a victim?
    It is only in Ethiopia

    • tell me what really pops in mind whenever you see the monument? obviously your answer would be hatred for Amhara or Minilik right? let me put it this way 90% of Miniliks has done great and 10% maybe bad. this female body mutilation can be one of its bad deeds. so now should we build monument for the 10 percent or 90 percent? your mother of your grandmother might have suffered this horrible fact, but tell me with open mind(put emotion aside) your brother OPDO has causing this nation(not just arsi(anole) celenko )but he whole oromia huge trouble than Minilik and will continue to do so and we have to fight for that?

  5. One of Daily Nation Columnist paraphrased our [Africa] Leaders ” We have leaders whose most engaged intellectual activity is watching Cartoon on TV”. Erecting a monument of having two nipple on one breast is a mere gofer.

  6. You can build a thousand abominable status based on fictional characters, but you still live under slavery without any power. You have no freedom of speech; you are not safe in your house; you have no right to assemble; you have no right to vote for a person who can solve political problems. Tplf knows how to erect a bunch of status as long as it helps it to get out of trouble it is in. After humiliating defeat at election 97, the wicked group erected a memorial statue for EPRD victims. The purpose was to inspire fear among Ethiopians. Now, the group is in big trouble again, so what does it do? Pleasing some weak minded people that jumps up and down with joy with unimportant and irrational things. But these people are in the minorities just like the government. They can not survive unless they exploit our differences and incite hatred . Nonetheless, their end is fast approaching. Emye Menelik was not a perfect leader, but who is perfect among us? However, He is a model for African freedom fighters. Most of them drew inspiration from Him to fight for their freedom. But these people who erect a symbol of hate and strife are an example of how low a human being can descend into the abyss. Remember though, nothing will safe tplf. The group is on top the hour on God doom’s clock.

  7. When you see the killer you remember the dead.To forget the past just remove the killer Menelik statue from Birbisaaa. Then the issue would not be in our mind. As far as the statue of killers are on our land we would not forget our perished ancestors. As far as the reality of the facts, we do not hear from the killers the survivors has told us as they see it and foreigners ( advisors to Menelik) had put the facts vividly . The all issue was cemented in a way you can not disprove it. The only solution is accepting the truth not laboring to erase it.

  8. These blood thirsty buchers of Tigre people liberation front are nurturing and grooming fascist individuals in organisations they themselves created like Opdo.

    The lie machine of TIgre people liberation front are working round the clock fabricating stories, creating gruesome images and manipulating the minds of their cadres in Opdo to live in hate and revenge attacks on perceived enemies.

    As long as the attention is turned away from them the fascist Tigre liberation front will come up with all sorts of ideas, building statues and who knows what they will come up with next?

    This fascist propaganda of Tigre people liberation force only shows the workings of the minds of these twisted , cruel and and barbaric group of people who have are continually working to cause violence, blood shed, hatred and animosity between people.

  9. Stupidity and Ignorance rules the political landscape of Ethiopia. Everyone is lined up based on their ethnic grouping and make believe stories better left alone than dug up. Anything the OPDO does will not benefit the Oromo. Instead, it makes them the pony of TPLF that is pushing our division and demise faster than any government Ethiopia has seen in its history.
    If Japan can forget and live peacefully with the USA, The Irish live with the UK as to why the narrow minded Oromo people advocators can’t forget and forgive whatever has happen in the past is mind boggling. Then again, it can be explained by one sentence “Woyane have them by the balls”. They can no longer do what they believe and think. Uffta!

  10. All you have written above, against what is believed to remind us the history of biggest Genocide in african history, could also be written from the other side too. Dont tell us your Minilik is holy for us too. For you, He may be. That was why you are defending him. Believe me, had he done the same for me, I could have been in your position today. But, unfortunately, He was our Genocider. Beyond that, everyone defending him lacks some knowledge of History, or may be a co genocider, and I dont care about that. As you can never get a chance to do that again. What I want to ASSURE you is, you already built one for Minilik. That is where we knew we are never One, and will never be.

  11. Tesfa,
    Nobody said about living together or not. The people in that area need the monument. Any intelligent person knows, there is no ethnic war in Ethiopia, perhaps religious.

  12. TPLF killed & keep killing more Oromo in Ethiopia, Amhara didn’t kill you think again , if it is not for Menelik there is no Ethiopia there is no Oromo Ha hahah!!!!!

  13. I am very sad when I think that for how long this regime keeps playing games on us.there is no country in the world that has statue that depicts negetivity hatred, revenge, among the people, just to mention few, millions of jews,had suffered terrible death from Hitler there is no statue that shows a naked burning body of a Jew, over 800000 hundreds of Tutsi were exterminated horribly by Hutus (Rwanda Genocide) there is no statue that shows the behading of tutsis with long knife, thousands of amharas have been killed by the oromo during expansion, thousands had been killed by the TPLF for unreasonble war with Eritrea (above 70000) should we build statues for that?… every where in any country a statue is build for something positive , victory,or heroes for there deeds every ruler in his regime has something good to be remembered or loved with and bad things to be blamed with I honestly don’t support the females mutilation of Miniliks army during the war at anole but building a statue for that, only brings hatred among the people of amhara and oromo no one would ever benefit from that except the TPLF who like to divide and conquer brothers familiies, and the whole Ethiopians people,
    brothers think thoroughly about it.this tactic only benefits TPLF,we should for once and for all overthrow this brutal regime and live with love, harmony peace and unity without suspicion lets move forward. our pain should heal now. we as Ethiopians have many bad, horrific history of wars both from internal and externals. lets praise our achievements and put our mistakes that our ancestors brought aside and move forward

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